Monday, October 13, 2008

Submariner Legacy in Humor and Death Cards

Recently, our friend Bubblehead posted Submariners Are Famous! at his TSSBP. Vigilis would have missed the discussed comic strip, too, had it not been posted at TSSBP.

That reminded me some of my readers may be unaware of certain other, sub-related publications which are no longer considered PC. M.E. has selected two examples for posting here.

The first is a used U.S. postcard dating from the WW2 era. Apparently, a male enlistee wrote it to his Mom. The postage that would only have been 1 cent was even waived at the time. How times have changed! Here it is for your inspection:



The last postcard is called a Death card by collectors. Can you guess why? (Hint: It features a group photo of the U-29's crew in full dress uniform). This unterseeboot 29 was built in 1913 for service in World War I, and sunk in 1915. To quote the current Wikipedia article:
Famously, it was the only submarine ever sunk by a battleship.

This U-29, then commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen (seated front row center), was rammed by HMS Dreadnought in Pentland Firth. All 32 crew were lost (only 25 men are shown in the photo, but there is much we will never know). Hence, the group photo became another of WW1's somber 'death cards' on 18 March 1915.



HMS Dreadnought was the first capital ship to be powered by steam turbines, making her the fastest battleship in the world when commissioned in 1906. At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Dreadnought was flagship of the Fourth Battle Squadron in the North Sea, based at Scapa Flow. Her only significant action was the ramming and sinking of German submarine U-29 skippered by Weddigen on 18 March 1915. Decommissioned during 1919, her hulk was scrapped in 1923.
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Enemy battleships have obviously not been the only vessels hazardous to submariners.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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2 Comments:

At 13 October, 2008 21:27, Blogger NavyCS said...

I had never heard of death cards before. There is actually a web site that sells them, death-cards.com They seem to be worth quite a lot, as always I learn something new when I visit your blog :)

 
At 16 October, 2008 16:05, Blogger Vigilis said...

NavyCS, interesting link, thank you!

 

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